VSHL assisted in bringing together a team of state-wide advocates for the disabled, the community and medical staff to set out terms for the application of treatment. VSHL coordinated on conference calls to draw on these experts help. The final product is a guideline that can be used now or in the future as this sort of circumstance may come again.
This document will be used as needed if and or when there is evidence that hospitals are denying vulnerable people life-saving treatment based on prejudicial judgement in violation of federal law.
The intro to the Statement of Principles is:
In response to the pandemic, our healthcare providers (HCPs) and first responders are engaged daily in acts of valor. We commend them and are deeply grateful for their heroic service.
During these very difficult circumstances, we support prevention efforts through education, resource sharing, social distancing and other evidence-based methods to mitigate the virus and to handle surge capacity. Similarly, we support the development of transparent Mass Critical Care Guidelines based on sound bioethical principles that prioritize the protection of all people. As the HHS Office of Civil Rights and FEMA have advised, in keeping with federal law, such guidelines should reject rationing of healthcare resources based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex or exercise of conscience and religion.